The costs and process of moving to the UK

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Hello and welcome.

You’re probably here because either you are planning to immigrate, or you already are in the process of immigrating to and settling in the United Kingdom.

Congratulations. The UK is a beautiful country filled with wonderfully diverse people who value tradition, ingenuity, and hard work.

Like you, I and my partner have embarked on that long journey to move to this country. Immigration is not a process that I can call “easy” – especially in the UK, there are very high bars to reach and this can be viewed by some as highly unforgiving – however, with proper planning and foresight you can make it manageable. We’ve documented our experiences here in hopes that it will guide you and help you prepare for what lies ahead.

In addition to showing the steps we’ve taken (and their outcomes), we’ll also share with you:

  1. Any useful document templates we’ve found or made ourselves
  2. Tools that we think will be useful
  3. Breakdowns of fees and costs that we’ve paid
  4. Links to relevant laws and other official guidance

All the chapters are listed below detailing what we’ve gone through since 2014 (which was when we started planning to immigrate to the UK) up to the present day in 2020 (as of the time of writing) which is when we have received our permanent residency, otherwise known as the ILR.

I urge you to read through the chapters in sequence, but if you’d like to start somewhere in the middle, feel free to jump straight to a topic of interest – just know that you may need to go back to refer to prior chapters where I detail all the preparation that has been done to get to that point.

List of Chapters

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting the job offer
  3. Prepare to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa
  4. Requirements for a Tier 2 (General) visa
  5. The IELTS English Language Test
  6. Finalising the Tier 2 (General) visa application
  7. The Tier 2 (General) visa appointment
  8. Summary of fees for the Tier 2 (General) visa application
  9. Tier 2 (General) visa application timeline
  10. Moving to the UK
  11. Travelling outside the UK
  12. Inviting friends and family to come visit you in the UK
  13. Prepare to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
  14. Requirements for ILR
  15. Life in the UK Test
  16. more updates to come…

A word of warning

Note that in the UK, only OISC-registered immigration advisers can legally give immigration advice. While I hope that I can give you an idea of what the process entails given the recounting here of my experiences, be mindful that this is specific to my case and may not necessarily apply to you or to anyone else.

Immigration law is exceedingly complex. As I am not an immigration adviser and that the strategy we’ve taken in our applications is bespoke to my and my partner’s route and unique state of affairs, the information here is not and should not be constituted as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding your particular circumstances, it is best that you reach out to a qualified immigration adviser who can assess your situation and provide open and honest guidance tailored to your case.

If you decide to do this and seek guidance and/or support from a solicitor (especially if you know that your scenario is a complex one), you must protect yourself from fraud1 by ensuring that you only go to an OISC-registered immigration adviser.